Run, Cheyenne Run!

This past Saturday, the Running with the Graduate Deans organization participated in the 2015 Country Roads 10k. Texas State was well represented with a sea of maroon by seven graduate students who ran with the deans, including SJMC graduate student Cheyenne Meyer.

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Not only did Meyer participate, but she was the overall female champion in the 10k race, which is the equivalent to 6.2 miles. Originally from Houston, Meyer is studying strategic communication and was a former student athlete during her undergraduate studies.

Associate Dean Eric Paulson was the male master’s champion and several other runners from Texas State placed in their age groups, as well as set their own personal best records.

The organization encourages fitness and community building within the graduate programs, and the Graduate College matches the amount of the race fee for everyone who participates as a runner, helper or spectator wearing their logoed shirts. The group raised $420 to be put into a scholarship account for the coming year.

Meyer beat both graduate deans, thus raising twice the amount of the entry fee for the scholarship.

“When I found out about the Running with the Graduate Deans challenge, I was ecstatic. I’m a competitive distance runner and had already signed up for the Country Roads 10k many months ago. But when the deans sent out the email issuing the challenge, I knew it was my time to represent the School of Journalism and Mass Communication grad program, as well as earn some money for the scholarship fund. Associate Dean Paulson is a fierce competitor; he only finished a minute behind me. I kept looking over my shoulder to make sure he didn’t pass me,” Meyer said.

The next event will be the Día de lost Muertos 5k in downtown San Marcos on October 31. All you need to do is bring your race registration to The Graduate College (280 JC Kellam) and pick up your shirt to participate. You don’t have to be a runner to participate, email graduatecollegedean@txstate.edu to volunteer and cheer on our graduate students and deans!

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SJMC to help state reach Medicare beneficiaries

Researchers in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication have received a $448,800 award to help the State of Texas connect with rural and low-income Medicare beneficiaries who might be eligible for additional assistance.

The grant from the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services (DADS) will allow Texas State University to research the most effective strategies for communicating with and educating Texans who are on Medicare or who will be within the next five years. The effort is part of a larger state-federal project, the Medicare Improvement for Patients and Providers Act (MIPPA), to improve access to Medicare and ensure low-income beneficiaries get the medical care they need.

Through interviews, surveys and other outreach efforts, Texas State’s team will evaluate how older Texans are using the media and learning about Medicare-specific services, including Medicare savings programs, low income subsidies, Medicare Part D and prevention and wellness benefits. Researchers will then develop strategies to more effectively reach these target audiences.

Judy Oskam, professor and director of the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, is leading a team with expertise in media, creative strategy, adult education and outreach.  “We are excited to work with the aging network across the state to determine the best way to reach key audiences with Medicare information,” Oskam said.

Texas State’s final report will be used to support the state and the area agencies on aging (AAAs) in reaching beneficiaries. The AAAs are responsible for communicating aging-related materials to seniors in local communities.

For more information about Texas State’s involvement in this project, please contact Dr. Judy Oskam at 512-245-2656 or oskam@txstate.edu.

The Texas State University MIPPA Project team includes Kelly Kaufhold (research director), Judy Oskam (PI) and research associates Jenny Buschhorn, Kym Fox, Vanessa Higgins Joyce, Gigi Taylor, Jacie Yang and Carrie Boden-McGill. Grant coordinators Jessica James and Dan Seed and three graduate research assistants, Zahra Khani (Geography), Rana Zeidan (Social Work) and Yazmin Rodriguez (Health Administration), are also working on the project.  Lisa Westerbeck, C3 Research Coordinator, has provided budget and staff support.

SJMC students live on Twitter

This past week, Fundamentals of Digital and Online Media (FDOM) students participated in a Twitter Scavenger Hunt.  FDOM uses Twitter as its main form of class communication. The objective of this particular assignment was to help students get comfortable with different Twitter features as well as utilizing social media to promote their own personal brand. Students used the class hashtag, #FDOM15 and the school hashtag, #TXST in every tweet to help connect with their classmates and other students at Texas State.

Students were given ten different topics to tweet about and were asked to include quotes, pictures and links to engage followers and promote creativity. Some of the Twitter topics included their favorites spots to eat on campus, student organizations, upcoming events, and Bobcat pride. Take a look at some of the tweets below and don’t forget to follow us at @sjmctxst for all the latest mass communication news at Texas State!

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